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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea part 3 of 4

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Sometimes in the podcast we give credit to the lighting designer. This may seem strange to listeners who have never seen us perform live because it’s not like we’re showing a video of the performance. Why would we give a credit to the lighting designer when you can’t see their work?

Daniel Taylor, Clair W. Kiernan, and Daniel W. Kiernan
Here’s some of their work. Happy now?

Because at a live performance, the lighting can enhance even an audio experience in ways that are difficult to describe. In Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea the characters are often underwater, outside of the Nautilus. During those times they can’t easily speak to each other, which makes dialogue challenging.

When we adapt H. P. Lovecraft, there often isn’t any dialogue at all, and so we just make some up. But in this case the passages where the characters are underwater are filled with lush descriptions of undersea life and landscapes that many of us will never see. We couldn’t just leave them out completely, nor could we make up dialogue that the other characters could never hear.

So we decided to create a music bed and have the characters each share their own perspective on what they were seeing through a triptych of interwoven monologues. In those instances the lighting helped the live audience adjust better to the transition.

Robert Drake
Robert Drake: Lightmaster

That lighting design is nearly always done by our host at the Academy Theatre, Robert Drake. So the next time you come out to see ARTC perform live anywhere where we have control over the lights (we usually don’t at our convention performances), ask if Robert’s around! And thank him for all his work!

ARTC’s next live show is at the Academy Theatre in Hapeville on March 28-29, 2015!

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31 Years of ARTC: Blues for Johnny Raven 2009

Continuing our look back at ARTC’s 31 years (thusfar!) with photos from our live performances. You can get a look at our whole history of combining adventures in sound with the thrill of live performance in our Chronology!

In this installment we bring you our appearance at the Academy Theatre in Avondale Estates, which featured our 2009 performance of Blues for Johnny Raven by Thomas E. Fuller. Check out all the pictures on our Flickr album.

This was our 25th Anniversary performance, and so we really went all out, as they say.

Bill Kronick and Alton Leonard
Bill Kronick and Alton Leonard going “all out”.

Y’know, we talk about how surprising it is that we’ve lasted so long. But the truth is that good storytelling is and has always been valued, so it really shouldn’t be that surprising.

Mary Buchanan and Megan Tindale backstage.
Ok, maybe it’s a little surprising.

This performance featured some of our favorites, some blasts from the past, and was a ton of fun. We got to see our founder William Brown take the stage again to recite The Mountain Whippoorwill by Stephen Vincent Benet…

William Brown on stage.
You don’t often see someone playing the “air violin”.

…as well as one of our favorite Rory Rammer episodes: The Asteroid of Love.

Fiona Leonard, Megan Tindale, and Ariel Kasten sing with Ethan Hurlburt observing.
Featuring the beautiful Android Sisters!

We were also treated to Brad Strickland’s An Arkham Home Companion.

Brad Strickland
Brad Strickland, just telling a regular old story about a tentacled monster trying to steal an eldritch book.

We were also joined by our frequent musical guest Juliana Finch!

Juliana Finch
Juliana rocks harder than you.

And, lest we forget, the main attraction, Blues for Johnny Raven!


Fiona Leonard and Daniel Kiernan
Raven (Daniel Kiernan) listens to the case brought to him by Gloria Kinsolving (Fiona Leonard).
Brad Strickland and Daniel Kiernan
Raven (Daniel Kiernan) consults with his friend and informant, Benny the Gospel (Brad Strickland)
Mary Buchanan
Mary Buchanan takes a break from playing the sax.
Ariel Kasten and Megan Tindale
We have no idea what’s going on in this picture.

Blues for Johnny Raven is in the final stages of post-production now and will be available soon, first by download and later on CD!